As the post game football disappointment hungover the atmosphere are Bud Walton Arena, the Razorback basketball team played the first 30 minutes of the game like they had a nice Thanksgiving hangover of their own.
Don't worry, even though it was a one possession game throughout the first half and halfway into the second, the winner was never in doubt. The Hogs clearly had the talent and just needed an Advil and Gatorade to get back feeling right.
Part of the first half struggles were due to Bobby Portis being in foul trouble. Portis picked up a quick two and finished the half with no points in only five minutes. He continued to be plagued with foul trouble in second half, eventually fouling out with six points and six rebounds in only 15 minutes of play.
No worries though, Anthlon Bell and Michael Qualls had no trouble busting the Mean Green's 2-3 zone defense. The two combined for 8-18 (44%) from behind the arc.
Qualls was easily the MVP of the game. He was a rebound short of a double-double with 22 points and nine rebounds. Per usual, you should probably checkout Sportscenter's top 10 plays tonight for one of his should be trademarked stick back dunks.
Bell and Rashad Madden were the other two Razorback's in double figures. Bell was a tad inefficient, scoring 15 points on 5-13 shooting from the field. But, he was the zone buster the Hogs needed him to be against a zone team.
Madden was everything could want from their senior point guard in one of these non-conference games.In the second half he scared everyone as he awkwardly feel, bending his left leg awkwardly. The Hogs' season flashed before their eyes as an injured Madden laid on the floor. However, Madden returned to the game after a few minutes on the bench. He finished with 15 points, seven assists, five rebounds and no turnovers.
For the first time this season, there wasn't a huge spark from the second unit onto the floor. That's one of the reasons the game stayed close for so long. Jacorey Williams and Moses Kingsley were the most productive off the bench. Coach Mike Anderson chose to stick with Williams through much of the game despite starting Alandise Harris. Williams played the most minutes off the bench with 22. He scored 9 points on 4-12 shooting.
Kinglsey had a really nice night contributing nine points and eight rebounds. If the Hogs can get that from him every night that would be a huge help in some of these tough road games coming up.
Next up for the Hogs are the Iona Gaels of the MAAC conference on Sunday. They will come to Bud Walton with a 4-1 record on the season, with wins over Wake Forest and North Texas as well. Their lone defeat was an 86-73 loss at Wofford.